Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Sunday he has tested positive for the coronavirus and has mild symptoms of COVID-19.
López Obrador, who has been criticized for his handling of the pandemic in Mexico, said on his official Twitter account that he is undergoing medical treatment.
“I regret to inform you that I am infected with COVID-19,” he tweeted. “The symptoms are mild but I am already under medical treatment. As always, I am optimistic. We will all move forward.”
López Obrador, 67, has been criticized for not setting a public example of protective measures against the virus. He has rarely been seen wearing a mask and has kept up a busy travel schedule, taking commercial flights. He has resisted locking down the economy, noting the devastating effect it would have on Mexicans who live day to day.
Early in the pandemic, asked how he was protecting Mexico, López Obrador removed two religious amulets from his wallet and proudly showed them off.
“The protective shield is the ‘Get thee behind me, Satan,’” López Obrador said, reading off the inscription on the amulet. “‘Stop, enemy, for the heart of Jesus is with me.’”
The announcement of his positive test came shortly after news emerged that he would speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday about obtaining doses of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.
Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said via Twitter that the two leaders would speak about the bilateral relationship and supplying doses of the vaccine.
The vaccine has not been approved for use in Mexico, but the government is desperate to fill supply gaps for the Pfizer vaccine. Mexico has been given more than 618,000 doses.
Mexico has registered nearly 150,000 COVID-19 deaths and more than 1.7 million infections. Hospitals in the capital, Mexico City, have been near capacity for weeks as a surge of cases following the holiday season.